Date : Wednesday, 04 April 2012
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lashed out at Qatar and Saudi Arabia for arming Syrian rebels.
Maliki’s remarks were the latest in a dramatic cooling of ties between Qatar and Iraq, which have sharply disagreed on how to respond to Syrian unrests.
The Syria issue has split the Arab world, with the West-backed hardline states including Qatar and Saudi Arabia advocating arming Syrian rebels and calling for Assad’s departure, while others including Iraq want to see a political solution.
“We reject any arming (of Syrian rebels) and the process to overthrow the (Assad) regime, because this will leave a greater crisis in the region,” Maliki said at a news conference.
“The stance of these two states is very strange,” he said in apparent reference to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“They are calling for sending arms instead of working on putting out the fire, and they will hear our voice, that we are against arming and against foreign interference.”
“We are against the interference of some countries in Syria’s internal affairs, and those countries that are interfering in Syria’s internal affairs will interfere in the internal affairs of any country,” the Iraqi leader added.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.
Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.
The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.
In October, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of stirring unrests in Syria once again.